The effort to repair hundreds of Connecticut homes with defective concrete basements hit a significant milestone this week.
The Connecticut Foundation Solutions Indemnity Company, otherwise known as CFSIC, was set up to dispense millions of dollars in assistance. It has now helped more than 500 families safely replace their basements in just three years.
NBC Connecticut Investigates broke the story on crumbling basements in Connecticut nearly seven years ago.
Not that long ago, hundreds of failing basements across north-central and eastern Connecticut looked like an intractable problem. Faulty concrete from a now-defunct company on the Massachusetts border was the apparent cause.
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“The initial estimate from three different contractors was well over $200,000. We were at a standstill, and we were really quite unsure what we were going to do,” said Tolland homeowner Aisling McCloskey.
Fast forward to 2022, and people who thought they had no hope of recovering the biggest investment they had made, are back in their homes with fully repaired basements.
Tens of millions of dollars in funding from the state and taxpayers have been earmarked to help with this crumbling basement problem. The gargantuan task of doling out all of the money fell to CFSIC.
“We were the first family in Connecticut. They got us through this. And we came out the other side. Very, very relieved, and very, very grateful to them,” McCloskey said.
This month, CFSIC says it moved its 500th family back into their home, a grueling process that involves lifting a home off its foundation, and replacing it. Families have to find other housing options for several months.
“To see this from start to finish completely has just been one of the greatest kind of processes and accomplishments I think the legislature has done, at least during my time here in Harford,” said Rep. Jeff Currey (D), whose district covers parts of East Hartford, Manchester, and South Windsor.
CFSIC superintendent Michael Maglaras credits the Lamont administration for its support and says in terms of getting some homeowners in line for this relief, it is two years ahead of schedule.
Challenges remain to get funding to help the rest of the homeowners with this problem. The total is number still unknown.
At the same time, this problem has also become more evident just across the border in Massachusetts, a state that is now looking to mimic the model Connecticut set up to help its homeowners.